Our first class last night, on Attachment Parenting (see title, above) was very interesting. We learned about as much about brain chemistry as a two hour class geared toward people who took biology twenty years ago, in high school, could be expected to teach. Apparently, when you get really upset and stressed, your brain dumps a chemical called Cortisol (sp?) into itself to calm you down. However, cortisol in large and frequent quantities is corrosive, so if you trip the brain's too-much-cortisol meter the distress thermostat gets reset and from then on that person has to reach higher, longer lasting amounts of stress to trigger the calm-down-happy-brain-juice. So people who have been under a great deal of stress at a very young age often get really stressed out much more easily than is normal and stay that way much longer than is normal. Fun times for all.
One thing I really liked was that the instructor said that one of the things that is just missing from these kids lives (even babies) and which makes a person feel much more secure is the sense that somebody else is simply delighting in their presence. It made me think of my dad, who will often say my name, and when I respond and ask what he wants, he says "nothing, I just like saying your name" with this big goofy grin on his face. I'm sure that there was a time when I was a teenager that I thought that Daddy was just being so stupid and annoying by doing that, but I don't remember it.
I'm looking more forward than ever to Annie/Oliver coming home.
Now Reading: Oliver Twist. Actually, this is going to be the first time I've read the whole thing. It goes really fast up until Oliver is kidnapped away from Mr. Brownlow, but then it starts to drag.